Blazers Blast Bobcats
When you look up “get-well game” in the dictionary, at least as it relates to the NBA, this game is what you will find. It may not seem fair at times, but you’ve got to take your frustration out on someone, and that someone happened to be the struggling Charlotte Bobcats on this night.
The Trail Blazers shot out to an early lead, then extended it, then extended it some more, led by 48 at one point, got the regulars some rest, and cruised to a 112-68 win at the Rose Garden. In other words, it went pretty much the way they wanted it to following the loss at Utah.
With the win the Trail Blazers improved to 10-1 at home. And before you ask, yes, the players in the locker room are very aware that the challenge now is carrying something like this over to the road, where the team is just 3-8. Even though their next opponent is one that they’ve already beaten twice, the Sacramento Kings, like the Blazers, are better at home, so don’t go thinking it’ll be a cake walk.
Back to this game, before we look ahead. Okay, it is fun once in a while to pound someone’s brains out. This business can be a little cruel at times, but no one feels sorry for anyone. The Blazers were the bug at times in the past, and it’s nice to be the windshield.
This also could have meaning beyond what the final score would indicate, and that’s that this was a throw-away, predictable whipping. It’s sometimes a challenge to stay sharp on a night when you know you’re going to win before the ball is tossed up. The Blazers were sharp, and kept that edge until garbage time.
Jamal Crawford, who has struggled at times to this point, was back to being exactly what we thought he was- a cold-blooded killer off the bench. Crawford caught fire in the second quarter and scored 14 points, blowing open a game that was already probably out of hand. Crawford ended with 26 points, on 9 of 14 shooting, and hit 4 of his 6 three-point attempts.
Crawford made an interesting point after the game, and one that others have suggested this season. He said, when describing how much better his shot as felt as of late, that he’s simply feeling like he’s now getting into better condition. It’s not that he wasn’t in good shape to start the season, but being a free agent and not knowing where he was going to play until deep into training camp, it’s a challenge to immediately get into mid-season form. Now, he’s getting there, and it’s showing. His shot was consistently falling short, and that’s legs. Hopefully now he’ll just build from here.
LaMarcus Aldridge was up to his usual stuff, scoring an easy 22, and Gerald Wallace torched his former team, scoring 23 points. Marcus Camby was a beast inside, swatting shots and hustling all over the court. Camby had a very interesting stat line- 4 points, 5 blocked shots, 5 assists, and 7 rebounds. This may be the obvious statement of the night, but this team is so much better when he’s on the floor.
Now, it’s the second of yet another back to back for the Blazers. We’re on our way to Sacramento to take on the Kings. The team is in search of a road win. Again. And, no matter how good this game felt, it’ll be a distant memory (and probably already is) if things don’t go their way on Thursday.
Talk to you on TV from Sacramento.